I did a Matisse co-op not too long ago, but we were painting in his style for that one. Today we were making cut-out collages in his style.
When Henri Emile Benoit Matisse was young he dreamed of being a lawyer. While in law school he fell ill and while recuperating his mother brought him paints to bide his time. He fell in love with painting and became a great avant-garde artist. Later in life he fell ill again and was confined to his bed and then a wheelchair. He couldn’t paint anymore, so he found a new way to get the images out of his head and into the real world – scissors.
He cut large pieces of paper and had assistants glue them onto even larger sheets of paper that they had colored under his direction.
We read this book, a simple book that tells of his life from boyhood to his death.
It shows him in bed cutting out a huge leaf, that is one thing the books can’t convey – how big these works were. One picture that we looked at was 10X12 in real life, the flowers in the picture have to be as big as your hand.
So, we were making smaller pictures. I had stencils in the shape of some of his famous cut-outs, a child, a man, a woman, an angel and more.
Some kids used the stencils, some didn’t.
Some used the negatives of their cut-outs, some didn’t.
I put some piano jazz on and the kids were quiet for over an hour cutting, pasting, assembling and coming up with some amazing art.
Some of the pictures started out as one thing and morphed into a story.
Suddenly the men were no longer dancing under a plane, now they were parachuting from an aircraft hit by lightning.
Guess who did this one? Grace said it was easier to cut out the shapes rather than paint them (except for the tiny fish, but if we were doing this Matisse style for real, then the fish would have been as big as my hand.)
Matisse would be proud.